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Thursday, January 8, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters To The Editor

Pine Street Development -- Gap In Editorial Leadership

I've followed the editorial pages of The Seattle Times with both interest and amusement over the past week and need to express the appalling lack of leadership and fairness I've seen in several articles dealing with Mayor Rice and the City Council. Never have I seen such inconsistent editorial statements and vitriolic hyperbole on your editorial pages.

On Dec. 23, you accuse the mayor and the council of violating the public trust with financing arrangements on the Pine Street garage. Worse, apparently unwarranted praise is heaped on the exploits of two Seattle Times investigative sleuths for bringing this matter to the public's attention ("City's Pine Street deal violated public trust," Editorial, Dec. 23.)

The editorial accuses the mayor and the council of "flawed leadership," of being "stunningly disinterested," and concludes with the statement that "Rice and the council members seem clueless."

In the same edition, you unleash the acerbic wisdom of Michelle Malkin, who informs us that "prostitution is illegal in Seattle," that "the disgusting truth" can now be told (by, of course, the two truth-dispensing Seattle Times investigative sleuths), and that the garage deal has resulted in "a windfall for the politicians who created it." Whew.

After references to "the council harem" and "this obscene deal," Malkin offers that "this god-awful whoring has gone on long enough." I agree, and I think you should stop it, and Malkin, right

now.

Mayor Rice and Council President Drago felt compelled to defend themselves, stating they were proud to have acted in the public's interest in this matter ("Public funding for garage a wise city investment," commentary, Dec. 25.) I agree, and applaud their vision and leadership.

If we criticize politicians for lacking courage, vision and good decision-making skills, we incur the obligation to thank them when they act consistently and in the long-term public interest.

Your Dec. 28 editorial performs an amazing about-face on mayor Rice: "Rice's legacy: downtown and caring stewardship." You state that, "Rice leaves office Wednesday with high popularity because of the person he is and the high standards he set." You conclude with the statement, "Seattle is still a city that works."

What's this?! I was confused until I figured out what had happened: The editors at The Seattle Times had obviously been on vacation and the kids were left home alone to crank out the paper. Instead of the Fourth Estate last week, we were editorialized by the cast of Home Alone 4 and the Fourth Grade.

I offer three suggestions to correct an unfortunate gap in your previous editorial leadership.

First, give politicians credit when they do something right. If your Dec. 28 comments reflect how you really feel about the mayor and the council and the role they played in making Seattle the city that works, say so, directly.

Second, stop praising your investigative sleuths while tearing people apart in your editorials, it's disingenuous at best and transparently self-promoting.

Third, next time you leave the editorial kids home alone, please leave a number for us to call. It would save us a lot of time trying to figure out where you really stand on an issue.

Bob Brodfuehrer Seattle

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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